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NOVA in the Community

Hire Smart Small Business Event

On April 27, Intuit and LinkedIn hosted a free conference, Hire Smart, for small businesses to help them make the right decisions as they look to grow and expand their workforce. The event was held at Intuit and NOVA was invited to participate as a business resource. To obtain more information and the content from this event, businesses can visit the event's website.

Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Kick-Off Event for 2013

The Silicon Valley StartUp Cup, based on a national initiative with the same name, is a locally driven business model competition that provides a forum for budding entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas for new business ventures through a seven-month judging, coaching and mentoring process. The result of this effort is the creation of new businesses/entrepreneurs and new jobs in this community and an environment that fosters networking and collaboration. On April 11, 2013 Santa Clara County launched its second StartUp Cup competition at a Kick-Off Entrepreneurial Networking Event at West Valley College. NOVA Director, Kris Stadelman was a judge for the StartUp Cup’s inaugural year and will be a judge again this year.

Reception for CompTIA

On April 9, NOVA hosted a reception for Charles Eaton, executive director, and Kirk Smallwood, director of corporate relations, for Creating IT Futures Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CompTIA. CompTIA, a global information technology industry association, is collaborating with NOVA on its TechLadder initiative, which was launched to promote access, inclusion, career advancement and economic self-sufficiency for workers in occupations requiring Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) skills. Recently, the CompTIA foundation agreed to donate $20,000 to NOVA to support the research component of TechLadder. Reception participants included representatives from the NOVA Workforce Board, the Economic Advancement Research Institute, who is helping NOVA flesh out the research component of TechLadder, Cisco Systems, California Emerging Technology Fund, Catholic Charities, City of Sunnyvale economic development manager Connie Verceles,, Mid-Pacific ICT Center, Mission College and Mountain View Chamber of Commerce CEO Oscar Garcia, among others. Overall, it was a wonderful event that will serve to further solidify TechLadder’s and the community’s new relationship with CompTIA going forward. NOVA would like to extend a special thank you to our community partners for participating.

April 26 Volunteer Resource Fair

On an annual basis, NOVA hosts a Volunteer Resource Fair for its job seeker customers.  The purpose of the fair is to provide opportunities for job seekers to volunteer in the community while they are looking for employment that will offer them meaningful work, introduce them to an industry they may wish to pursue as a career and accomplish real-world projects that they can add to their portfolio. Organizations also benefit from this event where they can recruit volunteers from a pool of high-caliber candidates.

This year, NOVA held its Volunteer Resource Fair on April 26, 2013 at the Sunnyvale Community Center and it was another big success. Over 120 enthusiastic job seekers attended, with 21 exhibitors participating. Organizations in attendance included the City of Sunnyvale, Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet, Cake4Kids, Catholic Charities, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley, Committee for Green Foothills, Montalvo Arts Center, Pathways Home Health and Hospice, Stanford Blood Center, Sunnyvale Community Services, United Way Silicon Valley and West Valley Community Services, among many others. Exhibitors offered a wide range of volunteer opportunities that included: advocacy, business plan development, cake baking, corporate outreach, event management, grant writing, graphic design, human resources, marketing, mentoring, research, software development, and much more.

We hope to see you at next year’s event!


The U.S. Department of Labor is launching a new study to explore innovative service-delivery models in the one-stop centers across the country and has hired IDEO to conduct the research. For this study, IDEO researchers will be interviewing Workforce Investment Board directors, whose organizations have promising practices, and customers and stakeholders. In April, NOVA was honored with a visit from these researchers to see firsthand NOVA’s services and learn how customers utilize our center. Overall, the visit was very thought provoking for both the researchers, as well as for NOVA. During the visit, NOVA was able to solicit their ideas on ways NOVA can improve upon the experience for its customers.

Presentation at the National Association of Workforce Boards Conference

NOVA Director, Kris Stadelman, had the pleasure of attending the National Association of Workforce Boards annual conference in Washington, D.C. in March and was invited to present on a workshop panel titled, “Beyond Sector Strategies: Employer Engagement and Research for the Post-Recession World.” The focus of the workshop was on how engagement with employers is important to creating effective population and industry-specific programs that meet the needs of both job seekers and employers. In today’s constantly evolving economy and job market, it is even more critical than ever to closely align workforce development programs with timely and reliable industry trends data and employer’s changing requirements. In addition to the NOVA director, the panel included the San Diego Workforce Board director and two researchers who worked with NOVA on the widely regarded technology study. The workshop was standing-room-only and very well received.

Visitor from the California Labor Federation

At NOVA’s invitation, Mr. John Brauer, Executive Director of Workforce and Economic Development for the California Labor Federation visited NOVA in February. The visit included a tour of the NOVA campus, opportunities to experience firsthand some of NOVA’s programs in action including a ProMatch orientation for job seekers in the professional fields and learning lab workshops, and meetings with staff to learn more about NOVA’s programs and services and what makes us different from other workforce investment areas. One of the more enlightening moments of the visit was hearing from one of our career advisors about the “day in the life” of a career advisor here. Overall, the visit was very informative for both Mr. Brauer and NOVA and will be helpful in our future work together implementing legislation that was passed during the last legislative session.

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